Radio Scarecrow Reviews/Quotes/News

Radio ScarecrowReviews and Quotes are starting to come back in for Radio Scarecrow, so we thought we’d share what’s coming in with the dogsquad – we don’t have a massive PR machine and do much of the PR ourselves with Don from Soma. We’ll be adding to this thread as things come in.

DJ Magazine – Album Of The Month
The Black Dog – Radio Scarecrow – Soma

If any one UK outfit was responsible for taking the Detroitian templates and blending ? rather than bastardising ? their boundaries into something genuinely innovative, then that would be The Black Dog. Remaining as invigorating as ever, visionary early-?90s works like ?Temple of Transparent Balls? and ?Spanners? might have been tagged ?intelligent techno? but their cutting edges bled influences into d&b, ambient and electronica. Now a reshaped trio (Ed Handley and Andy Turner long departed to continue their Plaid project), original member Ken Downie and kindred underground spirits Martin and Richard Dust have spent three years labouring on this latest sonic masterpiece.

Beautifully crafted throughout, The Black Dog?s signature mosaic-perfect detailing and deeply complex imagery is at once at work on the uncurling ambient reflection ?Train By The Autobahn?. Upping the pace, ?Riphead V9? is deep techno with enough layers to spend hours lost in, ?UV Sine? is a majestic string-laden soar whilst the ambient sci-fi dub dread of ?Floods
V3.9? and ?Beep? permeate the current techno/dubstep boundaries perfectly. But where ?Radio Scarecrow??s electronic frequencies truly charm the soul is on measured melodic tracks like ?Digital Poacher? and ?Witches Ov?, where moments of genuine contemplative bliss emerge out of mournful beauty with an intensity not matched by anyone. Never has techno felt quite so human.
Allan McGrath
Mint track: ?Witches Ov?
5 Out Of 5

Update Magazine
The Black Dog – Radio Scarecrow – Soma
Of course a new album from the black Dog is going to be a special event in the electronic music calendar. It’s just a question of how British techno’s most enigmatic and fascinating sonic foragers choose to exact their micro-surgery on the cold machines and what kind of carnage they want to cause. The follow-up to 2005’s Silenced, which was dominated by orchestral space symphonies and slow-to-mid tempos, skilfully manages to up the tempo with the return of the 4:4, homage the past as tracks like ‘U.V. Sine’ recall classic Mr Fingers with strings which come into their cinematically-sweeping own on ‘Witches Ov’ and, most intriguingly, create subtle mental tremors as ‘E.V.P. Echoes’ explores Electronic Voice Phenomenon. The group say some tracks include hidden coded messages and curses! Another noticeable difference is the bass levels – huge, swelling and all-enveloping to the point where a nearby buffalo evacuated his bowels with one blast this morning. The singles ‘Riphead v9’ and ‘Floods v3.9’ already signalled something great about to steam out of the tunnel but, all sequenced together, this album is something of a masterpiece which, by the time it’s nearly over with the lovely ancient-sounding piano of ‘Ghost Vexations’, can sit as an all-time electronic classic itself. But it may take some time for that fact to be realised…
Kris Needs

EQ Magazine
The Black Dog – Radio Scarecrow – Soma
Black Dog release the follow up to ?Silenced? on Soma. Two years in the making this LP is a mix of lush drones, deep basses, short wave noises and perfectly crips beats. Top electronica such as ?Train By The Autobahn? meets classic technoscapes like ?UV Sine? which sit alongside crisp and glitchy electronic funk tracks like ?Set To Receive? and ?EVP Echoes?. The music brings to mind the post rave daze of acts like The Orb, KLF?s Chill Out and of course The Aphex Twin. There is also a lesson in production for all to listen to in this music as bass frequencies are explored and sounds pushed to their limit as dark and light energies are balanced perfectly. Apparently The Black Dog are heavily influenced by Magick, Numbers Stations and Electronic Voice Phenomenon, but whatever, the results musically speaking are excellent and definitely still capture that other worldly and futuristic quality that has always existed in quality electronic music.
4 Out Of 5

Reverb Magazine
The Black Dog – Radio Scarecrow – Soma
Having eagerly awaited the release of this latest album from legendary electronic collective since the first news of it appeared midway through last year, appetites were firmly whetted by the time the promo arrived just before going to press. Radio Scarecrow is the first album from the Dog since 2005?s grossly underrated ?Silenced? out on related label Dust Sciences, and it builds on the broody and slightly dark mood of its predecessor in many respects.

With a sound that sits equally well within the boundaries of both techno and electronic ambience, Radio Scarecrow flows beautifully from track to track. Virtually from the onset of the silky pads and tension-laden beats of the 2-part extravaganza that is ?Train By The Autobahn? through to the dusty, nostalgic and wistful piano recordings in penultimate track ?Ghost Vexations?, this is an album that merges into one single audio moment ? taking you through a spectrum of moods and tempos contained within the sort of high calibre electronic music you?d expect from The Black Dog. With an ongoing theme of shortwave radio recordings, defined by the broken vocal snippets, drawn out synth passages, glitch-tinged beats and the haunting output of number station recordings, this album avoids the many clich?s that blight most contemporary ?techno? long-players. The Dog clearly have the bone between their teeth, making this another strong card from the ever reliable Soma stable.
4.5 Out Of 5
The Black Dog – Radio Scarecrow – Soma
After a very long gap with no releases thankfully The Black Dog have realised the errors of their ways and decided it?s time to keep busy again. After various festival appearances last year they?re all guns blazing now and in doing so bring forth this album.

The album starts out in an ambient electronica direction then effortlessly moves through electro and techno. Throbbing basslines emanate throughout the album, so much so that they couldn?t record for too long as they started feeling ill.

It?s everything an album should be- A mixture of styles and sounds but all with their own underlying simplicity and musicality, with certain themes occurring and reoccurring throughout thus keeping the listener entranced.
They definitely know how to use their kit, and thanks to them for letting us all hear them being used again.
Rik Symmetrik

The Milk Factory
The Black Dog – Radio Scarecrow – Soma
Since The Black Dog has become a fully functioning tri-headed cell again, it has delivered new and reconditioned material with insistent regularity, sourcing in the beast?s rich past the necessary fuel to move forward and adapt its visionary electronica to a different era through a series of classic EPs and the underrated 2005 Silenced album, while some of the long unavailable back catalogue dating back from the original Black Dog days got dusted off and polished to once again spread their wings and regain their .

Radio Scarecrow is a much more ambitious and confident affair than its predecessor as Ken Downie and brothers Richard and Martin Dust move away from the introvert ambient textures of Silenced and venture into more substantial terrains. Inspired by the band?s interest in Magick, numbers stations and electronic voice phenomenon, Radio Scarecrow is said to harbour messages and codes hidden deep within the music, which only occasionally come up close enough to be perceptible but are dotted substantially across the album.

On the surface, the seventeen tracks, spread over nearly seventy minutes, are classic blissful electronica with hints of Detroit techno scattered throughout. Partly built around linear beat formations, clean cut soundscapes and themes that often develop over the course of a few consecutive tracks, Radio Scarecrow is extremely fluid and lush. The vast sonic core that serves as a back bone for the first part of the Train By The Autobahn diptych, which sets the album on its way once the ethereal ambience of opening piece Transmission Start has died down, morphs into a much lighter and ephemeral sound in its second part. Later, textural elements bounce from ?Short Wave Lies to Siiipher and Digital Poacher, which itself echoes down Coda. All four tracks are clearly informed by classic early nineties electronic dance music, applied in various forms and concepts, yet all seemingly held together by a common spirit, which cascades down further later on.

As the mood retreats to gentler grounds on Set To Receive, distant voices float furtively amongst radio signals for a moment before being swallowed by shimmering electronics and a pulsating bass line, while, from below the surface of the splendid Witches Ov rises a dreamy melody which, once released from the grip of a tight drum pattern, rapidly disappears in the distance. Elsewhere, the trio delve into heavier grounds, especially on EVP Echoes and Floods V3.9, where more complex rhythmic structures are put in place to give the two tracks a firmer structure, before wrapping up the album with the haunting Eno-esque piano-led Ghost Vexations and the Dial & Dialers Pts. 1 & 2 interludes.

With Radio Scarecrow, The Black Dog continue to develop the sound they have showcased in recent EPs and affirm their relevance in today?s electronic scene. With this beautifully produced collection, Ken Downie, Richard Dust and Martin Dust create a truly engaging and contemporary record.
4.2 Out Of 5
The Milkfactory

The Black Dog – Radio Scarecrow – Soma
Radio scarecrow is the second album by the current line up of the legend that is the black dog.
while the bands (and with the addition of martin and rich dust to the lone ranger, ken downie, this is very much a band in 2008), previous album silenced in 2005 was obviously a whole new adventure for all concerned, this time around the lads are far more confident as to what music they want to make.

The results having been road tested and tweaked during 2007s festival season, are more assured, consistent and very special. in other words they have created a wonderful ambient techno album that easily sits alongside the bands well known catalogue.

the use of ear pleasing melodies and beats is gorgeous, innovative and totally listenable.
17 seamless tracks in 70 minutes may sound heavy going, but i can assure you that if you have any interest in the realm of modern techno that respects the history of the genre via the respective nods to detroit styled bleeps, while taking notes of the current love for minimal, then this album should be top of your wish list.

admittedly i was a little concerned when recent remixes of album highlight, flood v3.9, revealed a progression into the world of cold clinical dubstep, but thankfully the final album seems to have avoided such restrictive genre blackholes. though there is an obvious sonic osmosis taking place as the use of dense claustrophobic thunderous bass is very much in evidence.
in fact, word has it that the detail in the bass end is so intense, that during the creation process, the guys had to restrict their exposure to certain parts to just 3 hours to prevent illness.

the music is deep, rich and incredibly beautiful making me wish i had a high fidelity sound system that would respect the studio craftsmanship that has gone into these productions, as crappy office friendly ear plugs simply don?t do the layered music justice.

at times lush ambience with an edge of wired paranoia hidden in the perimeters is the order of the day, and others, beats are intense and troublesome with a more disturbing atmosphere being pushed to the fore. of course with the black dog it?s never just about the music, as ongoing interests involving numbers, magick, and something called electronic voice phenomenon (evp), are supposedly embedded in the genetic code that has been used to generate the sounds.

however, such sci-fi insight is unnecessary to get the maximum enjoyment, as quite simply, radio scarecrow is one the years finest ambient techno releases.
simple. as. that.

Slick DJ Magazine
The Black Dog – Radio Scarecrow – Soma

The Black Dog are true stalwarts of the electronica scene. They have worked for the top labels, built their own quality roster at Dust Science and bee sought after remixer/producers but never quite caved into commercialism. Recently the line-up of Martin and Richard Dust with the founding member Ken Downie have found a new lease of life on Soma records. In fact for the first time their music has really penetrated the DJs box and the dance floor and ?Radio Scarecrow? is arguably their finest Long Player moment, in a career that has had more than its fair share of ups and downs and many, many fine moments. 17 trax is a daunting proposition for anyone to listen to but the music juxtaposes between trax and styles effortlessly.

Its mostly typical electronica, ambient, chill-out stuff but there are some more harsher sounds and some 4/4 deep house, a bit of acid and a smidgen of grime/dub step for good measure. Expect the usual sci-fi atmospherics, weird glitches, off beats, de-tuned melody and pure experimentation but also witness sublime use of melody, strings, and rhythm. The Black Dog fuse many styles, various genres and craft what can only be described as their sound yet it does typically fit in well with its peers. If Brian Eno was a kid in his bedroom today then as an adult he?d be making these sounds. Stand out trax include ?Train by the Autobahn (part 1) and UV Shine. I think UV shine could be their best club/dj friendly track ever. UV Shine is so simple, so funky, so melodic its almost doesn?t belong but it does and so does all the other trax and I suppose that is the genius of The Black Dog, an old dog with some very new tricks. Also on this are the tremendous sonic adventures Riphead and Floods, however, without noticing the album finishes and the journey seems one long beautiful moment.
8 Out Of 10

Electronic Beats
The Black Dog – Radio Scarecrow – Soma
The black dog is a Euphemism for depression, but there is not so much to be depressed about if you are held in as high esteem as these 3 guys. The Black Dog are considered by some to be the godfathers of British Techno, taking the Detroit formula, tweaking smudging and shifting it into something completely new, and uniquely British. Radio Scarecrow is their 9th album release, following on from acclaimed releases such as Parallels, Bytes and Spanners, and what a gem it is. Influenced by Electronic Voice Phenomenon and Magic amongst other things, Radio Scarecrow is a haunting album that demands that you listen in its entirety, taking in the subtle elements and hidden messages. If you don?t know Black Dog, this is a great place to start If you do, well you probably already have this.

Razzle Magazine
The Black Dog – Radio Scarecrow – Soma
Dance music changes so fast that today’s cutting edge artist is tomorrow’s dated has-been, cast aside for a new trend or innovation. In that kind of environment, to last 19 years is quite an achievement, but that?s how long The Black Dog have been around, releasing smart, quirky techno for a dedicated fanbase. Another problem with dance music (or electronica, or whatever term in in vogue nowadays) is that a lot of artists release a great single or two, and then an album chock full of filler. No worries here. Radio Scarecrow, their first album for a couple of years, shows that there’s life in the old dog yet. The album builds slowly, starting off almost like an ambient record before gradually picking up the pace with some great tunes, such as the Orbital-like Set To Receive. In fact, it’s so well put together that Radio Scarecrow often feels more like a mix or a continuous piece of music than a more conventional album. Radio Scarecrow is never so indulgent or tricksy as to be unlistenable, and from the upbeat UV Sine to the glacial Ghost Vexations, there’s not a track that feels out of place or unecessary. Filled with intriguing little melodies and sounds that pop up throughout, it?s a record you’ll listen to again and again. Radio Scarecrow by The Black Dog is out soon.